Toward a producerist society

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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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5 Responses

  1. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    I think the important porcher idea is that often the way back leads forward.Report

  2. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    Unfortunately, many Front Porchers (by no means all!) embrace statist principles e.g. while they concede and critique certain failures in the contemporary political paradigm, they believe that their intellectuals can succeed where others have failed. Some of them don’t wish to acknowledge the good old “libido dominandi.’Report

  3. Avatar Sheldon says:

    Ahem. You mean on a “roll,” not role.Report

  4. Avatar Simon K says:

    The end of all production is consumption. I bears remembering. That said, I don’t think we’re even remotely at the point of defining ourselves by consumption choices – most of us still identify first and foremost with the productive things we do.Report

  5. First, I agree with Simon K on defining oneself by the productive things we do. At the same time, I don’t think the Front Porchers necessarily embody a regressive ideal. I think they share more in common with the ideology of Teddy Roosevelt – the quintessential progressive – in their opposition to corporate concentrations of power, and of course with the old right in their opposition to governmental concentrations of power. I agree with E.D. that they offer an important and necessary critique of the modern world, but I don’t find them to be against things like technology and mass-marketing, and any of the other neutral or benign aspects of modernity. I think what they’re saying is that what we usually see as unavoidable by-products of technological advancement, such as an expansive, regulatory state and corporate privilege in international markets, can be purged without destroying the system. Their policy recommendations seem to be consistent with limiting the power of large conglomerates and distributing this power in as diffuse manner as is fair.

    Second, Modernism as a movement definitely had a anti-statist component in reaction to the optimistic pragmatism of the late nineteenth century. I think someone like Millman and the Front Porchers could find commonality due to these great democratizing forces like information technologies. This is the Modernism from which developed the theories of Hayek and the Existentialists, directly opposed to Marxism, Fascism, and even centralized and pragmatically-directed Democracy. The Front Porchers as such are more like “trust-busting” libertarians like Tolstoy, and while this ideology is prevalent in the intellectual traditions of modern America, it is almost completely lacking among our elected leaders.Report